10 Must-Try Restaurants for the Solar Eclipse – Zagat

August 8, 2017

By Sara Ventiera

On August 21, the moon will pass between Earth and the sun, and for the first time since 1979, the totality of a solar eclipse will be visible from the continental United States. Starting on the Oregon coast in the morning, then moving east across 14 states, this is the first total solar eclipse to pass from coast-to-coast in 99 years. Stargazers will be traveling from all over the place to watch the sky darken in the path of totality. Hotels may be booked, but it’s time to start thinking about dining options if you are indeed traveling to get a better view of this cosmic event. Here’s where to eat for this year’s total solar eclipse.

Photo courtesy Il Villagio Osteria

Il Villagio Osteria, Jackson, Wyoming
While Jackson Hole fills up with tourists in both summer and winter every year, August 21 is slated to be the busiest day in the town’s history. Grab an alfresco seat and a salumi platter at this upscale Teton Village spot. The restaurant offers refined takes on classic dishes with wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas, local game and sustainable seafood specials in line with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s guidance. It’s paired with a multi-page Italian-centric wine list.

3335 Village Dr., Teton Village; 307-739-4100

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee 

Pinewood Social, Nashville, Tennessee
Mixing all-day restaurant, coffee shop, cocktail bar and adult playground — there’s a retro bowling alley and an outdoor bocce court — this Rolling Mill Hill hangout has quickly become a Nashville go-to. The food menu features elevated pub classics like fried chicken with cauliflower salad, beer battered fish ‘n’ chips and steak frites. The constantly changing single-barrel cocktails befits even the most hardcore mixology nerd. For the eclipse, the massive warehouse space is hosting a Day of Drinking in the Dark, a $100 special including a couple drinks, eclipse-themed lunch, swag bag and a dedicated viewing area. Tickets will sell out, but about 50 walk-ins will be available the day of.

33 Peabody St., Nashville; 615-751-8111

Photo by Kent Krebeck​

Juan Luis, Charleston, South Carolina
Pitmaster John Lewis has been racking up praise for his excellent Texas-style smoked brisket. Just about a year after opening his barbecue spot, he expanded his Lone Star state footprint in Chucktown even further with the debut of Juan Lewis inside Workshop Charleston food hall in May. The new concept is a full-time extension of his popular “Tex-Mex Tuesdays.” Inspired by his childhood memories in El Paso, Lewis uses his legendary brisket (along with some other protein options) in spice-filled puffy tacos, enchiladas (red or green obviously), burritos, tamales and more.

1503 King St., Charleston; 843-323-9131

Photo courtesy Andaluz

Andaluz, Salem, Oregon
Spanish tortilla, chorizo-Parmesan croquettes and paella mixta are just a few of the well-prepared Latin American–inspired share plates that grace the menu at this modern tapas bar. Chef-owner David Rosales creates bold, flavorful dishes with Pacific Northwest ingredients including produce from his home garden. Wash it down with Spanish wines, sherries and a wide selection of craft brews.

130 High St. SE, Salem; 503-585-1773

Photo courtesy Q39

Q39, Kansas City, Missouri
Barbecue lovers, get ready: The total solar eclipse will be passing through Kansas City. The options are nearly endless in the BBQ Capital of the World, but Q39 is one of the must-try destinations — and it’s open seven days a week. Pitmaster Rob Magee makes everything from scratch (sauces, rubs, chipotle sausage, killer sides) at his trendy rustic-industrial hot spot in Midtown. It offers excellent competition barbecue plates from Magee’s years on the circuit as well as sandwiches, salads and brisket burgers.

1000 W. 39th St., Kansas City; 816-255-3753

Photo courtesy Soby’s

Soby’s, Greenville, South Carolina
One of the early pioneers of “New South Cuisine,” Soby’s is a mainstay in Greenville’s evolving dining scene. Since opening its doors nearly two decades ago, the Main Street standby has become a local institution credited as the first fine-dining restaurant in the city. It’s hailed for its modern twists on classic Southern dishes like barbecue shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, crab cakes rémoulade and its indulgent Sunday brunch buffet.

207 S. Main St, Greenville; 864-232-7007

The Bistro, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Set in a restored circa-1893 house, this sophisticated restaurant offers upscale European fare just two blocks from the idyllic Fountain Square. The intimate brick-walled space is a go-to for special occasions, offering a mix of Continental- and American-inspired fare, ranging from penne rustica and lobster ravioli, to crab beignets and pork belly rice bowls with Creole cream corn, house kimchi and fried egg.

1129 College St., Bowling Green; 270-781-9646

Photo courtesy Il Naso

Il Naso, Ketchum, Idaho
Considered one of the top dining experiences in Sun Valley, this intimate Ketchum restaurant serves inspired takes on rustic Italian fare. The dinner menu features classics like veal scallopini, grilled baby octopus, wild boar lasagna and a constantly changing chef’s nightly ravioli. The knowledgeable staff are eager to walk guests through the extensive wine list, which has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past four years in a row.

480 Washington Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-7776

Photo courtesy Dish

Dish, Lincoln, Nebraska
Creative New American fare is on the menu at this downtown Lincoln stalwart. The restaurant has been a front-runner in the city’s dining scene since it opened in 2007, but it still feels just as fresh as it did a decade ago. Dishes on the seasonal menu are comparable to what one would find in big culinary capitals on the coasts with dishes ranging from salmon grain bowls and ricotta radish crostini, to Middle Eastern–influenced chicken with ricotta grits, za’atar salsa verde, harissa cucumber salad and kale with smoky tomato vinaigrette. The bar program is just as progressive with handcrafted cocktails prepared with housemade infusions.

1100 E. O St., Lincoln; 402-475-9475

Photo courtesy McKay Cottage

McKay Cottage, Bend, Oregon
The path of totality is passing through Oregon just a short drive north of Bend. So, it’s worth prepping for the festivities with breakfast at this North Side bakery and cafe on the way out of town. It’s consistently ranked one of the best breakfasts in the city. Housed inside a historic Craftsman bungalow, McKay Cottage has plenty of seating on its popular lawn and wraparound porch as well as its homey interior anchored by a big stone fireplace. Expect inventive brunch and lunch classics like croissant-style French toast, crab and sweet potato hash and Alaskan rockfish tacos.

62910 O. B. Riley Rd. #340, Bend; 541-383-2697